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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Protesters press for path to citizenship

Protesters press for path to citizenship By PETER PRENGAMAN, Associated Press Writer
14 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES - Angry over recent raids and frustrated with Congress, thousands of people protested across the country Tuesday to demand a path to citizenship for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants.

From Phoenix to Detroit to Miami, thousands of people carried American flags in the streets.

Organizers say immigrants feel a sense of urgency to keep immigration reform from getting pushed to the back burner by the 2008 presidential elections.

"If we don't act, then both the Democratic and Republican parties can go back to their comfort zones and do nothing," said Angelica Salas, director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. "They won't have the courage to resolve a major situation for millions of people."

In Chicago, thousands of demonstrators carried American flags, signs and placards, including one that read, "We may not have it all together, but together we can have it all."

Melissa Woo, a 22-year-old American citizen who immigrated from South Korea, carried a Korean flag over her shoulder as she criticized politicians for "buckling at the knees."

"Us immigrants aren't pieces of trash, we're human beings," she said. "To be treated as less than human is a travesty."

Thomas Rodriguez, of Aurora, stood in Union Park wearing a shirt that said: "We are hard workers. We're not criminals."

The 38-year-old has had no legal status since he came to the United States from Mexico in 1989 and is an employee at a Japanese restaurant in Chicago.

"Recent raids have worried me," he said. "We worry deportations are leaving too many young people without parents."

In southwest Detroit, hundreds of people wore red and white and carried American flags to a rally.

"Most of the undocumented people come here as a necessity of survival," said Rosendo Delgado, of Latinos United, one of the groups organizing the march. "For them, it's the only choice."

A mariachi band played in Phoenix as marchers walked from the fairgrounds toward the state Capitol.

"We want just reform," said Mayela Ruiz, another illegal immigrant. "I've been here 15 years. I've worked hard, paid my taxes. I've had no problems with the law and I'm afraid to leave my house. I want a law that would allow me to work and live in freedom but not like a slave."

A few dozen counter-protesters across the street from the Capitol got in a shouting match with some at the rally.

"I want to send them back," said Phoenix resident George Propheter, who held up a large handwritten sign that read "Hell No." "I've been in the city for 40 years. They've completely destroyed our city."

No rallies were planned in Atlanta, where 50,000 marched last year, because many immigrants were afraid of the raids and of a new state law set to take effect in July. The law requires verification that adults seeking non-emergency state-administered benefits are in the country legally, sanctions employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, and requires police to check the immigration status of people they arrest.

"There's a lot of anxiety and fear in the immigrant community," said Jerry Gonzalez of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials.

In Oakland, Calif., about 2,000 people marched to City Hall.

"Nothing has happened since last year," said Gloria Ramos, 51, a social worker at a children's nonprofit who left her native Mexico for Oakland 32 years ago. "Things are getting worse for our people — more discrimination, less benefits."

In Los Angeles County, home to about 1 million illegal immigrants, by far the largest concentration in America, marches were set to include demands for a legalization program, a stop to the raids and an anti- Iraq war message. City and transportation officials were planning for as many as 500,000 people in downtown Los Angeles, believing it could be the largest in the city so far this year.

Los Angeles public school teacher David Cid said he came to support his students, many of whom are suffering because of recent raids that have impacted their families.

"They feel terrorized," he said.

Despite divisions over tactics and other issues, immigration groups and supporters said the diverse events will show the movement is stronger than ever.

"Just because the 12 million people who don't have legal residency don't attend a march doesn't mean they don't want it," said Eduardo "Piolin" Sotelo, a popular Spanish-language disc jockey. "I tell my listeners that no matter what they do, just don't stop doing something."

After last year's protests, reform legislation stalled in Congress and bipartisan proposals for illegal immigrants to gain citizenship have gotten more conservative.

This year, about 400 members of Asian groups from across the country are set to make a lobbying push with lawmakers in Washington.

Organizers said Tuesday's turnout will be lower than the 1 million who took to the streets last year. Stepped-up raids in recent months have left many immigrants afraid to speak out in public — a major change over rallies in 2006 when some illegal immigrants wore T-shirts saying "I'm illegal. So what?"

"These raids have torn apart families," said John Crockford, a member of the Central California Coalition for Immigrant Rights.

In Fresno, organizers planned a rally focusing on children whose parents had been deported. The San Joaquin Valley is home to thousands of seasonal workers who work illegally each year in the fields and construction industry.

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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 03:26 PM
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But where would rightwingers get their wage slaves to mow their lawns and watch the kids?
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 03:52 PM
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So the price to pay for 86'ing non-residents who have committed crimes is that we have to cut our own grass and watch our own kids?

Where do I sign?
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 04:04 PM
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Yes. Feel free to order yourself another ten dollar hamburger.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 04:11 PM
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Too bad INS opps I mean ICE wasn't balsy enough to go to these events and arrest and deport these non-lawabiding ALIENS.

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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 04:29 PM
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This is BS. Immigrant rights? They're here illegally. They don't deserve rights. They deserve to go back to Mexico.

The media trying to add an Asian spin to the issue is also disillusioned. Less than 1 million Asian illegals, because it's harder to swim across the Pacific than to walk across a small desert. The problem is >50% Hispanic, and in terms of what people are rallying for, it mostly affects Hispanics.

I'm sick of hearing sob stories of separated families, hard workers, and individual situations. The bottom line is, if you don't want to be separated from your family, don't leave where you came from in the first place.

Illegals need to get over themselves. They think we need them more than we really do. Look at today. Everyone's marching in downtown, and business is just as usual. Labor costs go up if we don't have illegals, so pass that cost onto the consumer. I'll pay $2 instead of $1 for a head of lettuce. I'm sick of paying $35,000 in taxes a year, only to see half of it going to Iraq, and the other half on free healthcare for illegals and welfare for their 10 kids who are legal because they were born here.

Why aren't people more pissed off about these rallies?
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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I am with you on this. How many more uneducated workers with no socials skills does the US need.
Here in L.A., many parts of the city are completely overun. The melting pot is not working.
People who believe this issue doesn't affect Americans should think again.
It has affected the wages of Americans in the construction, and many other industries.
When was the last time you saw a US born house painter etc ?
There is no such thing as an 'illegal immigrant', an immigrant is legal, an 'illegal' is not.

In Europe few of these people would find work. Children born are not automatically eligible for citizenship.
Education is in the language of the Country. A resident alien is registered with an address, and not a number.
Fines for employers are high, with illegals being deported

The U.S. doesn't need a wall along its borders, only politicians who vote in immigration laws with teeth, and the means to enforce them.
With jobs only available for official guest workers, the flood of illegals will slow down to a trickle.
Many parts of L.A. are completely overrun. The melting pot is not working.

A legal resident alien.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeelTheLove
Yes. Feel free to order yourself another ten dollar hamburger.
10 dollar hamburger? Sure. Replace illegal fast food worker with pimply faced teenager, also working minimum wage. Cost: Minimal.

Replace illegal meat packer with legal immigrant meat packer. Cost: Additional $5/hour including benefits. How many hamburgers do they put out an hour? Do you really think it's a $9 difference passed on to the consumer?

The real cost of an illegal to the government, over the entire lifetime, is present value $125,000. The present value of future costs of of all illegals right now living in the U.S. is over $1.5 trillion (assuming 12 million illegals). 12 million illegals do not provide $1.5 trillion of cost savings for the economy over their lifetime. That's just hard numbers. We're not even talking about the negative social impacts of illegals in the U.S.

Still wanna argue with me?
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeelTheLove
Yes. Feel free to order yourself another ten dollar hamburger.
Well I did last Night from Fatburger. It was 9.60 without a drink.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 04:43 PM
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illegal Immigrants Need To Leave Or Be Forced Out. Not Criminals My Ass. Why Else Would It Be illegal Immigration?

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